The narrator of The Orient-Express, a wealthy tycoon born in Central Europe, suddenly runs from his home, his wife, his job, his commitments. In Venice the casual reading of a brochure leads to a trip on the legendary Orient-Express - familiar to him as a boy, it is now a perfect expression of the European civilisation lost with the war. As he ...
The narrator of The Orient-Express, a wealthy tycoon born in Central Europe, suddenly runs from his home, his wife, his job, his commitments. In Venice the casual reading of a brochure leads to a trip on the legendary Orient-Express - familiar to him as a boy, it is now a perfect expression of the European civilisation lost with the war. As he journeys through the night, he sees how Europe has become a mere imitation of itself. Has he too become a mere imitation of himself? With sparkling irony, dark brooding and light wit, Gregor von Rezzori gives us a superb pyschological study and erotic drama that is also a profound commentary on a civilisation and its extinction.
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Fine copy in fine dust jacket w/ red remainder spot on bottom edge. Translated from the German by H.F. Broch de Rothermann. 8vo 8 3/4"x 5 1/2" dark-brown cloth w/ black paper boards; author's name framed in gilt on front, title & author framed in gilt on spine; top edge turquoise, fore edge untrimmed; 181 pgs; photo-illus dust jacket w/ $21.00 on front flap, author photo by Jerry Bauer on rear. quotes by Robert Hughes, Michiko Kakutani, Gabriele Annan & Elie Wiesel on back cover. jacket design w/ altered photo by Barbara de Wilde.
New York. 1992. Knopf. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Dustjacket. Translated from the German by H. F. Broch De Rothermann. 181 pages. October 1992. hardcover. Front-of jacket art: Altered photograph by Barbara de Wilde. Photograph provided by Art Resource, New York. Jacket design by Barbara de Wilde. 0394573471. keywords: Literature Translated Germany. inventory # 17396. FROM THE PUBLISHER-The unnamed protagonist of this brilliantly written, powerfully affecting novel-by the critically acclaimed author of MEMOIRS OF AN ANTI-SEMITE and THE SNOWS OF YESTERYEAR-is Central European by birth but American since World War II: a man shaped in equal measure by the breeding and wealth he inherited and the cynicism he mastered on his own. Suddenly, without warning or farewell, he removes himself from the arena of his daily life: from his work, his wife, his home, all his commitments. An inarticulate impatience has impelled him from New York to San Francisco, Honolulu, Tokyo, Bangkok, ‘from one laminated plastic luxury hostelry to another, ' until he arrives in Venice. Now he has purchased a ticket on the newly refurbished Orient-Express-deeply familiar to him from his childhood, from the time when it was the perfect expression of the world it traversed, the world blasted apart by the war. The legendary train he boards has become a ‘dream vehicle' that promises to turn back the clock. Yet looking out the window, he can plainly tell from the deformed postwar landscape that the present epoch cannot be escaped so easily. And this glaring contradiction plunges him into reflection on the old Europe and the new, the world into which he was born and what it has become: a banal and unconvincing imitation of its former self. And as his journey progresses-through the night and into the next day, through dramatic and erotic, hilarious and dreadful encounters with other passengers, through the labyrinth of his memory-he is forced to consider whether he too has not become a mere imitation of his former self, truer to the sharp image and impact of his American passport than to his unresolved European inner life. With all the rich musicality and sparkling irony, the dark brooding and light-filled wit that are his hallmark, Gregor von Rezzori gives us, in The Orient-Express, a piercing psychological study of a man who lives schizophrenically, with pride divided between Old World and New-neither of them whole, neither wholly sustaining. And beyond that, he gives us a profound commentary on a civilization: a once-sublime reality, now doomed to self-parody and extinction.
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